U.S. wields United Nations veto over status of Jerusalem

Posted December 19, 2017

The United States on Monday vetoed a draft UN resolution rejecting President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, after all 14 other Security Council members backed the measure. The proposed resolution stated, "that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council". "The draft resolution is not adopted due to a negative vote of a permanent member", said Koro Bessho, Japan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations who presides Security Council in December.

"The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America's role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us", said Haley.

Haley was adamant that "the United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy".

After the vote, Haley lashed out at the other members of the Council, calling the proceedings "an insult" that "won't be forgotten".

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A spokesman for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, responded to the veto by saying it was "unacceptable and threatens the stability of the global community because it disrespects it". Thank you, President Trump.

The push for a vote - which came in the knowledge that the USA would use its veto - followed Trump's decision to upend decades of policy by declaring that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that he plans to move its embassy there.

"Regrettably one state made a decision to oppose the whole world and to stand against the whole world with regard to this long-standing issue", Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour told the council. But the Palestinians insist that East Jerusalem should be the capital of their future independent state.

Along with the UK, France, Russia, and China, the USA is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, with the power to block any resolution from passing with the use of a veto.

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NPR's Michele Kelemen reported for newscast that Egypt sponsored the resolution in order to "demonstrate that much of the world opposes Trump's action, including USA allies on the security council, Britain and France, who see Jerusalem as a shared capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state".

Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The settlements are in contravention of the worldwide laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which prohibits countries from moving population into territories occupied in a war.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the US for using its veto in a video posted to Facebook.

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